The Clearing – Oil Painting

The Clearing

This is the finished painting I started a few days ago. The last post mentioned the issues with Liquin and deep shadows (see here). I was exploring the idea that lines (not outlines) more than shapes trigger a sense of realism in a painting. I was aware of this in drawings and graphical work where the line does not actually outline the objects but suggest shapes.

I did not record the painting of this picture because  of the messing around with Liquin. The colours used were the usual Burnt Sienna & Raw Umber (red), Yellow Ochre (yellow) and French Ultramarine (blue). Black and white and a strong green, Chrome Green Light were also used. The second painting, which was affected by Liquin, I have recorded, so far, and I will record the finishing when it dries. I will be able to use ‘glazes’ because the painting will be dry – that will be something different from recent paintings.

I have included the pictures below to illustrate the thing about lines and their ability to convey a realistic impression. Both were done about 30 years ago. One is a scraperboard, where the black is scraped off – like reverse drawing. The other is an oil painting produced with long bristled, narrow round brushes. The technique involved using low boiling point petroleum solvents. This material would evaporate within seconds of applying the paint. In a way, it was similar to watercolours. The colours were built up with multiple lines layered on top of each other. If they were applied quickly enough they would blend together. The technique was limited to brightly lit subjects not like the painting above.

Kilmoroney House

Fisherman's Cottage


17 thoughts on “The Clearing – Oil Painting

  1. Ohh the Fisherman’s Cottage is so alive. Love it. The technique sounds quick – and a bit tricky? Certainly not by your hand, however. Wonderful post. Thanks!

  2. Hi Liam,
    I love ‘The Clearing’ for its emotional impact. It feels both dark and hopeful. I’m enjoying the work with ‘edges’ (which is what I call the lines that suggest shapes) and I appreciate your thoughts on this. The use of line is also what seems to differentiate a ‘painter’ from a ‘draughtsman’. I’ve always been more the latter, and am working hard to expunge the outlines and work with the shapes and the edges they make. Sending some painter-love from this foggy Friday in San Francisco.

  3. Pingback: The Clearing – Oil Painting « PictureS | Oil Painting Outlet

  4. This is beautiful! I tend to do a lot of that “reverse painting” and it greatly changes perspective when you do a normal painting from a white background.Because of this I very much want to start with an entirely red background to see what comes of it.
    I love that you list the colors you use, I have a fairly limited set of colors and tend to mix my own but I am ever so curious about some other colors as well.

  5. You’ve done an amazing job. I really like the way you managed to include a great deal of detail without having it end up looking busy or cluttered. Great composition.

  6. I’ve been following your discussion about Liquin. I’ve never used it myself, although I have friends who swear by it. I don’t know if it’s available outside the USA, but I really like Grumbacher’s painting mediums. I use Medium III because I paint in thin glazes, and it dries very quickly. They recommend Medium II for wet-in-wet. My experience with III has been that there has never been a color saturation or a gloss change between previous layers and new layers. I suspect the same would hold true for II. If you can find it, you might give it a try just to see what happens.

    • Thanks for the advice. Grumbacher’s is not available here (Ireland). My problem occurs when Liquin is semi-dry. OK if the painting is finished in an hour, after that it begins to set and cause problems.

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